Egyptian to face trial over hijacking plane diverted to Cyprus

iStock
iStock

A man accused of hijacking a plane more than two years ago and diverting it to Cyprus will face trial on a string of charges, Egypt's public prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, who was extradited in August from Cyprus, is accused of forcing a domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo to divert its route to the Mediterranean island in March 2016.

Egypt's public prosecutor announced on Wednesday the case has been referred to the country's criminal court, paving the way for a trial to begin at an unspecified date.

Accusations against Mostafa include deliberately disrupting a flight, seizing control of an aircraft through threats and intimidation and promoting the ideas of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, the prosecutor said in a statement.

Cypriot authorities handed over Mostafa to their Egyptian counterparts after a court ruling allowed his extradition.

While held in Cyprus, Mostafa fought his extradition on grounds he would not receive a fair trial in Egypt. The Cypriot supreme court however dismissed his appeal last year against being sent home.

His request for asylum was refused as Cypriot authorities deemed him a "perpetrator of serious crimes".

The 2016 hijacking took place a few months after the October 2015 downing of a Russian airliner by the Islamic State group, killing all 224 on board, an incident that dealt a severe blow to Egypt's lucrative tourism industry.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4124 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3815 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 411 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.05
0.0%
GBP/ZAR
19.67
0.0%
EUR/ZAR
17.10
0.0%
AUD/ZAR
11.03
0.0%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
0.0%
Gold
1,831.32
0.0%
Silver
27.45
0.0%
Palladium
2,929.64
0.0%
Platinum
1,256.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
68.28
+0.3%
Top 40
62,573
+1.4%
All Share
68,520
+1.4%
Resource 10
71,474
+2.1%
Industrial 25
86,856
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,711
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo